Every building in the country, more or less, comes with a roof. Every one of those roofs will suffer wear and tear over time, and thus there will always be a demand for skilled professionals who can come in and provide their insight. There are around 63,000 roofers in the UK, some of whom make a handsome living by setting up their own companies. The profit margin for a roofing company can range from 1% to 20% and higher, which means that a lot depends on what you have to offer.
Even if you know your trade well, running a business requires a host of new skills that you might not yet have acquired. Fortunately, you can pick up a lot of it as you go along. Let’s take a look at the process, and where it might lead you.
Start a Business Plan
Every successful business starts with a good business plan. In theory, there’s nothing stopping this plan from existing solely in your head, but it’s a very good idea to write it down. That way you can work out whether your ideas are really going to hold up to reality. You’ll also need a business plan to get would-be investors onside – so don’t neglect it.
Come up with a Name
You should come up with a name that makes sense and is easy to remember, but that isn’t difficult to type into a search engine. Think about how the name will look in a social media handle, and whether there are any potentially disastrous misreadings.
Consider your Costs
When you come to determine your potential profits, you’ll need to account for a range of hidden costs. Roofing, as a trade, is particularly vulnerable to changes in the weather, but you’ll also need to account for stoppages that might occur because of missing materials, broken tools, or illness. All of these will impact your profits; thus you’ll need to leave yourself a financial cushion generous enough to absorb them. You might want to consolidate these costs into a predictable insurance payment, through a reputable organisation like Gallagher.
Research your competitors
Research is critical. Make a list of your local rivals, and determine what sorts of service and guarantees they offer. If they all belong to trade associations, then you’ll want to follow suit. If you decide that their marketing looks sub-par, then you might compete by simply making the investment in a graphic designer who knows what they’re doing.
Determine what services you’re offering
The precise sort of roofing you’re doing should be informed by both demand and the supply. Think about what your would-be customers will want from you, and what your skillset allows you to provide to a high standard. If you’ve got experience working with heritage buildings, or with solar-panel installations, then why not lean into that?
Sweeten the deal
To get ahead of the competition, you’ll want to offer perks and extra services as part of every deal. These might include insurance-backed guarantees on the work you do, and free quotations. If you try to charge for a quotation, you’ll leave a sour taste in the mouths of your customers before you get up on your first roof.